It is not surprising but certainly disheartening to see the two letters in Wednesday's paper in support of the Texas attorney general's lawsuit to overturn the presidential election ("Utter condemnation? Not so fast," Readers Write). Both exhibited the bizarre illogic we've come to hear daily from the current president and his supporters.
It was clear immediately in the first letter how the argument would go. The writer claimed, "When Donald Trump was elected president in 2016, the Democratic Party labeled him as an illegitimate president." No, in fact it did not. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton conceded as soon as it was clear Trump had won the Electoral College. President Barack Obama immediately invited him to the White House to begin the transition. Nor did the Democratic Party swear "to seek his impeachment each and every day of his term in office." They sought to impeach him only when it became clear he had abused his power and broken a number of laws culminating in illegally withholding funds appropriated by Congress to aid an ally in a plot to extort political assistance. This is a fact. The impeachment was not "based on the purported account of one secondhand whistleblower" but detailed under oath by several witnesses with direct knowledge of what had transpired and by Trump's own words. Nor was there "fraud in this election." These are the fantasies of a loyal follower who has chosen to dissociate from reality rather than abandon loyalty to a cult leader.
The second letter asked if Reps. Tom Emmer, Pete Stauber and Jim Hagedorn and Rep.-elect Michelle Fischbach did "not have the right to express themselves." Of course they did! No one was calling for their arrest. But those who correctly leveled extensive criticism at them for participating in a sham lawsuit that sought to throw out millions of legitimately cast votes, a lawsuit confirmed as a sham by the Supreme Court, have that right as well.
Free speech does not mean the speaker is free of censure for what is said, particularly when the seditious (and I use that word advisedly) attempted undermining of this democracy by elected representatives is what is being put forth.
Stephen Lehman, St. Paul
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The GOP lawsuit — agree with it or not — was not an attempt to undermine the nation's democracy, as some suggest. We are a constitutional republic. Seeking judicial review is not subverting the Constitution. It is using the constitutional process.
If one believes they were wronged and thinks there is a legitimate way to right the wrong, using the constitutional process is the American way. Certainly preferable to riots and looting.
Bob Jentges, North Mankato, Minn.
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Free speech is the foundation of our democracy, but it should come with responsibility and be grounded in fact or at least critical plausibility. The author of the letter "Utter condemnation? Not so fast" exhibited neither of these requirements in his rant about alleged widespread fraud in the presidential elections despite that all these claims have been repeatedly refuted by the courts due to an utter lack of any supporting evidence.
I very much enjoy reading the wildly different points of views displayed in the Star Tribune opinion section, but it should not degenerate into social-media-worthy conspiracy theories that strain critical thinking and common sense. I hope the editorial staff will in the future exercise a little more diligence in screening the content of this section lest it degenerate into mindless chatter best accessed on a multitude of other platforms, but definitely not on this one.
Walid Maalouli, Eagan
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There were two excellent "Reader's Write" letters in the Dec. 16 newspaper, yet perhaps not enough said about how President Trump, if not the entire Republican Party, has been demonized. No paragraph has been written without linking President Trump to every national and worldly problem today. It is no mystery that the relentless attacks, which were more severe than even those lodged against President Richard Nixon, pushed even longtime Republicans away from voting for a sitting president. The election remains a win for the Republican Party but a loss for President Trump.
I hope the public remembers how the man, his family and everyone around him was viciously attacked. The scorn was unjustified and many of President Trump's policies and accomplishments went unreported. The nation is in danger of one-party rule, which is not unlike the Russian example that also has been similarly assaulted.
Bruce Lundeen, Minneapolis
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The challenges to the presidential election happened exactly as they should have through the state and federal court system. Regardless of how frivolous or righteous the challenge, this is how democracy works. To implicate and disparage anyone or any political party for using the courts to resolve their argument or injustice, no matter which side you are on, is just plain undemocratic. The courts have spoken and now we can begin to unite instead of berating each other by continuing to carry the election result forward. We have work to be done!
Robert Stevens, Mound
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The Star Tribune Tuesday editorial "Minn. GOP reps fail to defend vote," Steve Sack's editorial cartoon and five letters ("Make amends, congressmen") rightfully excoriated Reps. Tom Emmer, Jim Hagedorn and Pete Stauber for supporting the junk lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court, it sought to overturn presidential results in four states (Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin).
I need not add to the apt comments and observations published that day.
However, as they say on late-night infomercials, "But wait ... there's more!" And though hard to believe, it's even worse.
On Dec. 10, 15 Minnesota state senators and representatives signed a letter to the Texas attorney general, concluding, "Therefore, we request that you include the State of Minnesota and Secretary of State Steve Simon in your lawsuit regarding illegal voting practices." Let that sink in for a moment. Minnesota elected officials wanted the U.S. Supreme Court to invalidate not only votes in four other states, but also the votes of 3.2 million Minnesotans!
And the "feckless 15" are: Reps. Steve Drazkowski, Jeremy Munson, Tim Miller, Cal Bahr, Eric Lucero, Mary Franson, Glenn Gruenhagen and Shane Mekeland; and Sens. Mary Kiffmeyer, Mike Goggin, Andrew Mathews, Mark Koran, Bill Weber, John Jasinski and Rich Draheim.
To these elected officials: You sure have a lot of explaining to do, not only to your constituents but to all Minnesota voters.
And to Steve Sack, will you expand the "Wall of Shame" wing in your cartoon to make room for 18, not just three, members?
Howard Schneider, Lakeville
Safeguard is needed more than ever
The anti-Electoral College letter writers inadvertently made an argument against disbanding it ("State electors: Reform the College," Dec. 16). Yes, indeed, the presidency is a national election, which is why the Founding Fathers' inclusion of this brilliant safeguard is more critical than ever.
Without the Electoral College, a handful of states (gee, they're almost all Democratic strongholds! Coincidence?) can dictate the results of every election, rendering the likes of the Dakotas, Wyoming, Montana and numerous other low-population states moot. Los Angeles County alone is larger than numerous states.
Every time the Democrats don't get the results they want, they look to change the rules to ensure things go in their favor — in perpetuity. It's not time to remove the Electoral College. It's never been more important.
John Morgan, Burnsville
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